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The Position of Bp. Kirykos Regarding Re‐Baptism
Differs From the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils
In the last few years, Bp. Kirykos has begun receiving New
Calendarists and even Florinites and ROCOR faithful under his omophorion
by re‐baptism, even if these faithful received the correct form of baptism by
triple immersion completely under water with the invocation of the Holy
Trinity. He also has begun re‐ordaining such clergy from scratch instead of
reading a cheirothesia. But this strict approach, where he applies akriveia
exclusively for these people, is different from the historical approach taken by
the Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils.
Canon 7 of the Second Ecumenical Council declares that Arians,
Macedonians, Sabbatians, Novatians, Cathars, Aristeri, Quartodecimens and
Apollinarians are to be received only by a written libellus and re‐chrismation,
because their baptism was already valid in form and did not require
repetition. The Canon reads as follows:
“As for those heretics who betake themselves to Orthodoxy, and to the
lot of the saved, we accept them in accordance with the subjoined sequence and
custom; viz.: Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, those
calling themselves Cathari, and Aristeri, and the Quartodecimans, otherwise
known as Tetradites, and Apollinarians, we accept when they offer libelli (i.e.,
recantations in writing) and anathematize every heresy that does not hold the
same beliefs as the catholic and apostolic Church of God, and are sealed first
with holy chrism on their forehead and their eyes, and nose, and mouth, and
ears; and in sealing them we say: “A seal of a free gift of Holy Spirit”…”
The same Canon only requires a re‐baptism of individuals who did not
receive the correct form of baptism originally (i.e. those who were sprinkled
or who were baptized by single immersion instead of triple immersion, etc).
The Canon reads as follows:
“As for Eunomians, however, who are baptized with a single
immersion, and Montanists, who are here called Phrygians, and the
Sabellians, who teach that Father and Son are the same person, and who do
some other bad things, and (those belonging to) any other heresies (for there
are many heretics here, especially such as come from the country of the
Galatians: all of them that want to adhere to Orthodoxy we are willing to
accept as Greeks. Accordingly, on the first day we make them Christians; on
the second day, catechumens; then, on the third day, we exorcize them with the
act of blowing thrice into their face and into their ears; and thus do we
catechize them, and we make them tarry a while in the church and listen to the
Scriptures; and then we baptize them.”
Thus it is wrong to re‐baptize those who have already received the
correct form by triple immersion. The Holy Fathers advise in this Holy Canon
that only those who did not receive the correct form are to be re‐baptized.
Now then, if the Holy Second Ecumenical Council declares that such heretics
as Arians, Macedonians, Quartodecimens, Apollinarians, etc, are to be
received only by libellus and chrismation, how on earth does Bp. Kirykos
justify his refusal to receive Florinites and ROCOR faithful by chrismation,
but instead insists upon their rebaptism as if they are worse than Arians?
The 95th Canon of the Quinisext (Fifth‐and‐Sixth) Ecumenical Council
declares that those baptized by Nestorians, Monophysites and Monothelites
are to be received into the Orthodox Church by a simple libellus and
anathematization of the heresies, without needing to be re‐baptized, and even
without needing to be re‐chrismated! The Canon reads:
As for Nestorians, and Eutychians (Monophysites), and Severians
(Monothelites), and those from similar heresies, they have to give us
certificates (called libelli) and anathematize their heresy, the Nestorians, and
Nestorius, and Eutyches and Dioscorus, and Severus, and the other exarchs of
such heresies, and those who entertain their beliefs, and all the aforementioned
heresies, and thus they are allowed to partake of holy Communion.
Now then, if the Quinisext Ecumenical Council allows even
Nestorians, Monophysites and Monothelites to be received by mere libellus,
without requiring to be baptized or even chrismated, and following this mere
libellus they are immediately free to receive Holy Communion, how is Bp.
Kirykos’s approach patristic, if he requires the re‐baptism of even Florinites
and ROCOR faithful?!!! Is Bp. Kirykos not trying to outdo the Holy Fathers in
his attempt to be “super‐Orthodox”? Can such an approach taken by Bp.
Kirykos be considered Orthodox if the Holy Fathers in their Canons request
otherwise? Are the Canons of Ecumenical Councils invalid for Bp. Kirykos?
Certainly the Latins (Franks, Papists) are unbaptised, because their
baptisms consist of mere sprinklings instead of triple immersion. Likewise,
various New Calendarists are also unbaptised if they were not dunked
completely under the water three times. But can such be said for those
Orthodox Christians, and even Genuine Orthodox Christians (be they
Florinite, ROCOR or otherwise), who do have the correct form of baptism?
In the Patriarchal Oros of 1755 regarding the re‐baptism of Latins, the
Orthodox Patriarchs make it quite clear that their reason for requiring the re‐
baptism of Latins is because the Latins do not have the correct form of
baptism, but rather sprinkle instead of immersing. The text of the Patriarchal
Oros actually refers to the Canons of the Second and Quinisext Councils as
their reasons for re‐baptizing the Latins. The relevant text of the Patriarchal
Oros of 1755 is as follows:
“...And we follow the Second and Quinisext holy Ecumenical Councils,
which order us to receive as unbaptized those aspirants to Orthodoxy who
were not baptized with three immersions and emersions, and in each
immersion did not loudly invoke one of the divine hypostases, but were
baptized in some other fashion...”
Thus we see in the above Patriarchal Oros of 1755, that even as late as
this year, the Orthodox Church was carrying out the very principles of the
Second and Quinisext Ecumenical Councils, namely that it is only those who
were baptized by some obscure form other than triple immersion and
invocation of the Holy Trinity, that were required to be re‐baptized.
How then can the positions of the Holy Ecumenical Councils and the
Holy Pan‐Orthodox Councils be compared to the extremist methods of Bp.
Kirykos and his fellow hierarchs of late? Is Bp. Kirykos’ current practice really
Orthodox? Is it possible to preach contrary to the teachings of the Ecumenical
and Pan‐Orthodox Councils and yet remain Orthodox? And as for those who
believe that there is nothing wrong with being strict, let them remember that
the Pharisees were also strict, but it was they who crucified the Lord of Glory!
The Orthodox Faith is a Royal Path. Just as it is possible to fall to the left (as
the New Calendarists and Ecumenists have done), it is also quite possible to
fall to the right and spin off on a wrong turn far away from the tradition of
the Holy Fathers. It is this latter type of fall that has occurred with Bp.
Kirykos. In fact, even Bp. Matthew of Bresthena was quite moderate
compared to Bp. Kirykos. For Bp. Matthew of Bresthena knew the Canons
quite well, and required New Calendarists to be received only by chrismation,
or in some cases by only a libellus or Confession of Faith.